A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after an 89-year-old woman was killed in her home.
Dorothy Woolmer’s body was discovered at around 10.45am on Sunday in Tottenham, north London.
Scotland Yard said she had been assaulted and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Detectives believe her killer or killers gained entry to the terraced house in Waltheof Gardens between Saturday evening and Sunday morning and have not ruled out burglary as a motive.
A 22-year-old man was arrested in the Tottenham area on suspicion of murder shortly before 6pm on Monday and remains in custody at a north London police station.
One neighbour said the victim had lived at the house with her husband Kenneth, who was ex-navy.
He said Mrs Woolmer, known locally as Dot, would keep her front garden tidy and say hello to him in the street.
The neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, added: “They have lived here for more than 70 years.
“Kenneth was ex-navy, she was a housewife.
“We were just good neighbours. They were pleasant, would give you the time of day.
“You couldn’t wish for a better neighbour.”
The neighbour said Mr Woolmer had died a few years ago.
He branded the attack “disgusting” and said there had been a burglary nearby a few weeks ago.
He added: “It’s bloody awful.
“We had a burglary only two doors away about three weeks ago.
“Whether they were sussing the place out I don’t know.”
Another neighbour, John Cerisier, said he had been shocked to hear of Mrs Woolmer’s death.
He said he had known Mr and Mrs Woolmer for decades and they had been a devoted couple.
He added that Mr Woolmer had died two or three years ago.
The 72-year-old said: “I have lived here 44 years and I have known them all that time.
“They were a very quiet couple.
“They kept themselves to themselves. They were a very devoted couple.
“It’s just shocking what happened.”
Mr Cerisier said the couple had lived in the house since the late 1940s and Mrs Woolmer had been a housewife and keen gardener.
He added: “He was a marine, Kenneth.
“She didn’t work, she was a housewife. She loved her garden.
“It’s very sad. She lived to such an age and to end up like that, it’s horrible.”
Another neighbour, Sayed Hussain, said it was a “terrible” incident.
The 40-year-old added: “It should never have happened. I haven’t got a single word to explain my sorrow.”
A police cordon remained around the house on Monday, with forensic officers in blue boiler suits seen searching the area.
Detective Chief Inspector Garry Moncrieff said: “The woman had clearly been assaulted and, as such, a murder investigation has been launched.
“I want to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in and around Waltheof Gardens and the surrounding area on Saturday night or Sunday morning.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting CAD 3149/04aug or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.